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Adding 3rd sata HD to MB with 2 sata slots

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September 21, 2010 2:29:58 PM

Hello, Is it better to add sata card or use IDE to add 3rd sata hard drive to asus A7N8X-E deluxe? And any suggestions on install? First 2 drives are raid0. New drive is 500gb WD SATA. Thanks
a c 143 G Storage
September 21, 2010 4:10:52 PM

I would look to use a RAID controller in a PCI slot for your RAID setup and use one of the two motherboard SATA slots for your stand alone SATA drive.
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a c 104 G Storage
September 21, 2010 6:11:10 PM

Hi there,

Since your computer motherboard is a little older, it depends on what you are going to use the extra HDD for. For the fastest speed, I agree with Tecmo's idea about moving your RAID0 over to a controller card and using the new HDD on one of the two regular SATA ports.

If it's just for storage, an alternative would be to leave your RAID-0 setup alone, and buy a $12-$15 IDE to SATA PCB available on Amazon, interface it between your IDE ribbon and molex power connector and SATA HDD, and it would work fine, just not quite as fast.
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September 22, 2010 5:35:03 AM

I currently have a total of 360 gb on my RAID0 so I want to use the new 500GB as my boot drive with the RAID0 setup for documents, music, etc.
Would Tecmo's idea provide the fastest speed for a boot drive?
Will I need to uninstall and reinstall driver when changing drives to controller card?
Additionally, what controller card would you recommend for my setup?
Thanks again for your help.
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a c 104 G Storage
September 22, 2010 3:37:05 PM

alwager said:
I currently have a total of 360 gb on my RAID0 so I want to use the new 500GB as my boot drive with the RAID0 setup for documents, music, etc.
Would Tecmo's idea provide the fastest speed for a boot drive?
Will I need to uninstall and reinstall driver when changing drives to controller card?
Additionally, what controller card would you recommend for my setup?
Thanks again for your help.


Well, there are several ways to skin this cat. Tecmo's rec would be the fastest for the RAID-0 on its own controller card, but I think (am not sure) since the controller card is an add in PCI card, you would have to set up the RAID-0 on that card (disk size, stripe size) and have it stripe the 2 HDD's the way that controller is programmed. Then move your data back onto the RAID-0 volume. You would need to buy a PCI SATA 2 RAID-0 card like Startech's for ~$60.

The other option not previously considered, is to leave the RAID-0 just the way it is. Buy a new PCI SATA 2 controller card like Syba or Vantec's for $20-$25. Put your new 500GB SATA HDD on that & use it as the boot system drive. No unusual installation and the SATA system drive will be just as fast. Whichever way you go, if your new HDD is SATA 2 (3Gb/s) buy a card to match. Also make sure you buy a PCI, not PCI-e card, since your 1 PCI-e slot is used for your video card.

You should consider making a partition on the new SATA HDD for the OS 50-100 GB, and leave some space unallocated at the end for later use. Then you can adjust the pri partitioin or add another partition in the unallocated space, for programs, data, etc.

Planning and engineering it "right" is half the fun!
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September 23, 2010 3:23:43 AM

Thanks again for your help! I think I'll add the new HDD to the new SATA card. Easier setup and no need to reconfigue RAID0 if access time not appreciably affected.
If you don't mind...can you tell me more about the benefits of partitioning new HDD for OS? --->
"You should consider making a partition on the new SATA HDD for the OS 50-100 GB, and leave some space unallocated at the end for later use. Then you can adjust the pri partitioin or add another partition in the unallocated space, for programs, data, etc."

Thanks again!
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a c 104 G Storage
September 23, 2010 3:58:17 PM

alwager said:
Thanks again for your help! I think I'll add the new HDD to the new SATA card. Easier setup and no need to reconfigue RAID0 if access time not appreciably affected.
If you don't mind...can you tell me more about the benefits of partitioning new HDD for OS? --->
"You should consider making a partition on the new SATA HDD for the OS 50-100 GB, and leave some space unallocated at the end for later use. Then you can adjust the pri partitioin or add another partition in the unallocated space, for programs, data, etc."

Thanks again!


Hi again,
No matter how you set up your new physical HDD, it has to have a partition which are boundaries for the disk section. First you decide on the partition type, use MBR which permits you add up to 4 primary partitions (or 3 pri + 1 extended). Then you decide on the volume size. For a single HDD you would make them a Simple Volume. That means the whole volume (Drive C: or Drive whatever) is on 1 physical HDD like you have. Then you choose the File System, use NTFS, give it a Volume Friendly Name, like Win-XP or Local C: or whatever, then Format it!

Sounds like a big job but Windows does essentially all that for your.

The choice you have to make is - do you want one partition the full size of the disk, which is fine, or do you want to have say 2 partitions, one for the OS, one for programs or data storage or recovery partition. Lots of guys make one large partition full HDD size 500 GB. Since Win-XP takes up 5-10 GB, and Win-7 20-40GB, the rest is for storage, programs, and room to defragment the drive.

If you make 1 large partition, you have no other options later. If you make 1 partition say 100 GB - 300 GB, and leave the rest unallocated space, then if you want later, you can expand your present volume into that space, extend it all the way out, even shrink your partition, or you can make that unallocated space another partition (Drive letter) for use. It's just extra space you have the computer doesn't see. I usually set a new drive up this way.

The nice thing about having options, and partitions, if data or programs in one partition becomes corrupted or unusable, you can reformat that partition and it doesn't effect other partitions of that drive.

Some guys set up 3 partitions, one for the OS, one for programs, and one for data. That way if the OS goes south, they just reinstall the OS and it doesn't effect the programs or data. That can be complicated and probably wouldn't do that at this point. Just mentioned for completeness.

It's all a matter of preference, and there is no "right way". You will get pros and cons from as many enthusiasts as you talk to.
But that should help you to begin to understand about HDDs and volumes.
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September 24, 2010 7:25:58 PM

Best answer selected by alwager.
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September 24, 2010 7:28:21 PM

You have given me some great ideas John, and tecmo. Thanks for the excellent guidance!
-Al
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